In the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, gang members across the country are offering their support to the Muslim community.
As Te Karere reporter Te Rina Kowhai reports, representatives from the Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs say they are willing to defend mosques in their respective communities to prevent another terrorist attack.
President of Waikato Mongrel Mob – the country’s largest chapter – Sonny Fatu says they want to show their solidarity and support for the Muslim community.
“We have Muslims brothers and sisters within our organisation, we have family members who are Muslims.
“We are concerned about their wellbeing.
“But it’s not just about that. It’s also, what’s it all about? Is it about the brown skin? Who knows? We are all vulnerable, that’s the scary part of it all.
“At times like this we need to come together.”
The Mongrel Mob is planning on standing guard at Hamilton’s Jamia Masjid mosque on Friday, during their final prayer.
The Waikato Muslim Association president, however, wants gang members to come into the mosque and join them, not just stand outside.
Despite gang affiliations, lifetime Black Power member Dennis O’Reilly says various gangs around the country are offering their support to their local community.
“We’re particularly keen that where people have been divided to be able to come together.
“Also, no-one likes to see women and children shot and maimed, especially in the context of prayer, so all of those things start to come together, people feel empathy, and a desire to protect and support.”